Michael J. Watts

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I am currently Senior Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence, and Programme Coordinator of the Bachelor of Information Technology programme at Media Design School. Previously, I was the Head of School for Information Technology at AIS in Auckland, New Zealand, a position I held from 2012 to 2022. Apart from my management duties, I developed the Master of Information Technology qualification in 2019, and the Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology in 2017. In 2021 I developed the AIS implementation of the New Zealand Certificate in Information Technology (Level 5) and the New Zealand Diploma in Information Technology Technical Support (Level 5). I led the transition of AIS from paper to online course evaluations, and managed the preparations for the School of IT for the 2018 EER assessments which resulted in a rating of Excellent for Performance and Excellent for Self-assessment. In 2018 I moved the School of IT to online tests and exams, and 2014-15 managed the transition from computer lab-based to laptop-based teaching. I have also taught courses on artificial intelligence, relational databases, fundamentals of programming, business intelligence, information security, and run workshops on programming in PHP and C++.

From 2010 to 2012 I was a research fellow in the Global Ecology Group at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia, where I carried out research in ecological modelling. While at Adelaide I developed software tools to perform more sophisticated analysis of the results of common ecological modelling applications.

From 2007 to 2009 I was a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney, Australia, where I developed methods using computational intelligence and data mining to predict the spatial distribution of the Australian plague locust.

From 2004 to 2007 I was a post-doctoral fellow in the National Centre for Advanced Bio-Protection Technologies at Lincoln University, New Zealand. There I developed methods using computational intelligence and data mining to predict the invasiveness of insect pests and crop diseases.

From 2000 to 2004 I was a senior teaching fellow in the Department of Information Science, University of Otago. As part of my duties I coordinated and taught courses in computational intelligence, data processing and data mining at second, third and fourth year level. Some of the lectures I presented are available here.

I grew up in the small town of Waimate in South Canterbury, New Zealand. I received the degree of Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Information Science from the University of Otago in 1996, and a PhD degree, with a focus on artificial neural networks, evolutionary algorithms and fuzzy data mining from the same department in 2004.

I am a Senior Member of the IEEE and I have previously served as the Chair of the Social Media Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society.

I have written or contributed to more than eighty publications in international conferences and journals, in the fields of computational intelligence, bioinformatics, and ecological informatics / ecological modelling. I am currently serving as an Area Editor for the journal Evolving Systems and serve on the editorial board of the journals Soft Computing and Complex and Intelligent Systems. I previously served on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems.

I also run a blog on computational intelligence and a site on evolving connectionist systems. Much of the software I develop for my research is freely available here.

My complete academic curriculum vitae is available as a PDF here. My Google Scholar citations profile is available here (current h-index 21).

Contact me at: contact_AT_mike.watts.net.nz

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Maintained by Dr Michael J. Watts (mike.watts.net.nz).